The good news is nobody is getting suspended from Game 7.
But the league is going to review the tape from an altercation that started between DeShawn Stevenson and Udonis Haslem in the second quarter. If someone did leave the bench to enter the fray they could face a fine and be suspended at the start of next season (whenever that is).
Here is the statement from the league, courtesy the Associated Press.
“A player will not automatically be suspended for leaving the bench if he has already left the bench because a timeout was called,” league spokesman Tim Frank says in a statement. “However, we need to review the circumstances of this particular incident, which we will do, after the game.”
The incident happened in the second quarter. The Heat had hit a shot as part of a little run and so a timeout was called. Stevenson thought Haslem was in his way as the two went to the bench, they bumped into each other then started facing up and jawing. Pretty soon there was a crowd. Mario Chalmers rushed in as the third person and seemed to escalate things, but he had been in the game.
Anytime a player levees a bench to enter a fight there is an automatic suspension. However, guys were already coning out to the floor so it creates a muddy area.
It wasn’t really that big a deal, nothing anyone should be suspended for really. But you know how the league loves to watch tape on these things.
Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.
Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.
Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”
That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)
Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.
But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.
The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.
Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.
Enter Greg Smith.
Scott Kushner of The Advocate:
Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.
But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.
Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.